Liberals dismiss staffer behind Vikileaks tweets
Josh Visser, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, February 27, 2012 10:37PM EST
A Liberal research staffer was behind the "Vikileaks" Twitter account that published details of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews' messy divorce, interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said Monday.
The staffer -- who has been identified as Adam Carroll -- offered his resignation, which was accepted by Rae Monday morning.
Speaking to CTV's Power Play, the Liberal leader said he asked his staff if they knew anything about the Vikileaks account when it was created and heard nothing. On Sunday, an investigation by Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer linked the account to Carroll.
"I was very disappointed, I am not a happy person (over this)," Rae said.
Rae personally apologized to Toews in the House of Commons Monday afternoon.
"I want to offer to the minister my personal apology to him for the conduct of a member of my staff," he said.
Rae said it makes public life difficult when "political attacks become personal."
Rae then walked over to the government's side of the house and shook Toews' hand, while offering a few brief words.
Toews, who sat impassively during Rae's comments, said he accepted the apology.
"I think it is a heartfelt apology," Toews replied.
However, speaking outside of the Commons, Rae suggested the staffer was angry over a series of aggressive Conservative statements.
"(Carroll) showed a real error in judgment. He said he was very upset by the Hitler remarks that were made . . . the child pornographer remarks that were made, but we all agreed that was no excuse," he said.
"Nastiness begets nastiness," Rae later said on Power Play. "I'm not defending, I am only trying to explain."
Outrage over Bill C-30
Toews infamously rose in the House two weeks ago and said critics of his online surveillance bill could "either stand with us or with the child pornographers."
The Vikileaks Twitter account started dishing out details of Toews' divorce shortly after the public outcry over Bill C-30. The Conservatives introduced the legislation requiring Internet service providers to monitor their clients' online activity.
An investigation into the source of the Twitter account revealed it came from within the Parliament buildings.
Soon afterward, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird blamed the NDP. Baird has since apologized.
Toews complained earlier that the use of a House computer to personally attack him was "a contempt of the house."
"I take no issue with an open attack on the floor of this House in which the source of the attack may be seen by all. I take strong issue with the idea that House resources would be used to attack secretly a member of the House," Toews said.
Quebec MP Justin Trudeau linked to the account several times. On Monday, he stopped short of apologizing for it.
"Appalled to find out Vikileaks came from us Liberals. Yes, I tweeted about it, but I did not endorse it. Personal attacks are always wrong," Trudeau wrote on Twitter shortly after Rae's apology.